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Tau fluff questions - I need your help!
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Old 23 Feb 2008, 23:43   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Tau fluff questions - I need your help!

I'm thinking of turning my attention away from my Imperial armies and starting a Tau story, centred on the Au'taal cadre under Shas'O Lynu. However, in order for this to be possible, I need answers to the following questions:

1. Would it be possible for an Ethereal to be replaced by a genetically-engineered Imperial agent, possibly a clone of an Ethereal that "goes missing" for a while, ie is assasinated? If this is not possible, could an Inquisitor somehow brainwash an Ethereal into working for the interests of the Imperium, and leading a powerful cadre into a deadly trap?
2. What are the names of the capital and/or any major cities of Au'taal?
3. Would Kroot, Vespid, Gue'la and other auxilliaries fighting with a cadre share the same barracks, or have a separate encampment?
4. Does Tau "AI" have rudimentary sentience and personality? If not, is it possible for a drone to develop a personality over time (think Data from Star Trek), or would a sufficiently talented Fio'O be able to construct a sentient drone?
5. What are the symptoms of "suit dementia"?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give!
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Old 23 Feb 2008, 23:50   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau fluff questions - I need your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commissar_Will
1. Would it be possible for an Ethereal to be replaced by a genetically-engineered Imperial agent, possibly a clone of an Ethereal that "goes missing" for a while, ie is assasinated? If this is not possible, could an Inquisitor somehow brainwash an Ethereal into working for the interests of the Imperium, and leading a powerful cadre into a deadly trap?
Ooh... very hard to say. I'd err on "No" for caution's sake. Due to the nature of the Aun, someone would probably spot the difference.

That said, any other Caste member is potentially fair game for a suitably well-instructed Callidus with a batch of Polymorphene.

Quote:
2. What are the names of the capital and/or any major cities of Au'taal?
To my knowledge, they never said.

Quote:
3. Would Kroot, Vespid, Gue'la and other auxilliaries fighting with a cadre share the same barracks, or have a separate encampment?
Hmm. I would imagine they would have their own barracks. Nobody wants to share a bunk hall with a Kroot, particularly whilst it's eating.

Quote:
4. Does Tau "AI" have rudimentary sentience and personality? If not, is it possible for a drone to develop a personality over time (think Data from Star Trek), or would a sufficiently talented Fio'O be able to construct a sentient drone?
Hell no on both counts. Tau AI are blank, faceless machines. They are not going to go Jonny Five on us anytime soon.

Quote:
5. What are the symptoms of "suit dementia"?
Someone blows off your Battlesuit's arm, and your arm becomes paralysed. In short, you think you are the suit.
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Old 24 Feb 2008, 00:07   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau fluff questions - I need your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commissar_Will
1. Would it be possible for an Ethereal to be replaced by a genetically-engineered Imperial agent, possibly a clone of an Ethereal that "goes missing" for a while, ie is assasinated? If this is not possible, could an Inquisitor somehow brainwash an Ethereal into working for the interests of the Imperium, and leading a powerful cadre into a deadly trap?
I'd say no on both counts. Tau are pretty resistant to external mind-tampering as their internal mind-tampering is pretty thorough. They're also resistant to psychic influence, and while the lesser castes aren't immune, Ethereals may as well be.

I'd say a Callidus would be a mighty fine idea though, as Wargamer pointed out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commissar_Will
2. What are the names of the capital and/or any major cities of Au'taal?
None specified in the fluff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commissar_Will
3. Would Kroot, Vespid, Gue'la and other auxilliaries fighting with a cadre share the same barracks, or have a separate encampment?
As shown in Kill Team, Xeno Auxiliaries have their own city districts, housing, and staging encampments, so I'd imagine they'd have their own barracks or living quarters when "on deployment" too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commissar_Will
4. Does Tau "AI" have rudimentary sentience and personality? If not, is it possible for a drone to develop a personality over time (think Data from Star Trek), or would a sufficiently talented Fio'O be able to construct a sentient drone?
Tau Drone Intelligences aren't true "AI" in the sense of sentience, but they can be programmed to act a certain way or with a certain rudimentary "personality". They can carry on very basic conversations and follow most verbal, spoken orders.

El'Lusha from Fire Warrior had his "AI" speak in a soothing female voice, and the Earth Caste Construction Drones from Dawn of War spouted out "For the Greater Good!" propaganda left and right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commissar_Will
5. What are the symptoms of "suit dementia"?
Battlesuit Neurosis and the spin-off affliction known as the Ho'or-ata-t'chel (Sympathetic Ghost Pains) have been discussed and theorized at length and have distinct, wildly different symptoms, causes, and effects.

Battlesuit Neurosis is a mental sickness where the user begins to feel excess emotions of empowerment and battlefield importance from operating the battlesuit for extended periods of time, and eventually stops thinking about "the Greater Good", instead worrying only about "His/Her Own Good".

Sympathetic Ghost Pains are rare and result from certain weak-minded individuals suffering severe physical and/or psychological trauma when connected to the Brain-Computer Interface inside the XV8. Sometimes users will be shot in their organic leg, complete their mission just fine with two operating machine legs, but when they disembark they will be baffled as to why they're unable to walk. The reverse of this is that a battlesuit may get shot in the optic cluster and sometimes the pilot will think he'd been shot in the head, or one of their machine legs might get blown clear off and when the pilot is pulled from the wreckage they might lose use of their perfectly normal organic leg or be confused as to why they're able to walk.

Searching for either term here or at ATT will provide you with much more information than I care to cover here.
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Old 24 Feb 2008, 00:09   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau fluff questions - I need your help!

Thanks for that - as for cities, I guess I'll have to invent names. What do Tau cities tend to be called - are they named after famous people (as Ores Tah'n from DoW would suggest), are they called things like "City of True Unity"? Or are they just random words in Tau-ish? As for the Ethereal thing, I imagine that you're right. It was going to be that only one character noticed any "difference" in the Ethereal, and is denounced by the others for even thinking of suspecting the high-and-mighty Ethereals of such a thing, all the while following them to their doom. But the difference would probably be too obvious - I'll just have the Callidus impersonating O'Lynu, while the real O'Lynu is being ruthlessly interrogated for intelligence by the Inquisition.
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Old 24 Feb 2008, 00:33   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau fluff questions - I need your help!

Tau cities are pretty much just random Tau words jumbled together, but you can really name them anything that sounds good.

I really doubt anyone's going to nitpick you for your city not being named properly.
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Old 24 Feb 2008, 02:38   #6 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tau fluff questions - I need your help!

I agree on everything so far put forward by Doombringer and Wargamer; my only gripe is the Callidus suggestion. Maybe its because I got raped by one today (they are cheesyness personified; and this daring human definitely deserved to be trodded into dirt by a team of Broadsides... ), but I don`t think Callidus infiltration would work - Reason being Tau language. Tau not only communicate verbally, but also olfactory - i.e. they emit pheromones, and they are not - apparently - only sensed subconscious, but taken in conscious (and there even seems to be a certain amount of control the indicidual has over them); at least according to the novel Firewarrior (which might be dated, since the whole pheromone-control thing is on hiatus for now).

I doubt a Callidus could imitate that...
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Old 24 Feb 2008, 03:24   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau fluff questions - I need your help!

Fire Warrior dated?

Hah. IIRC, it's the most recent published piece of Tau literature save Xenology, so I doubt it's "dated".

The only thing put on hiatus regarding pheromones is how much control an Ethereal has over a Tau subject using them. If Fire Warrior says Tau can actively and consciously sense, interpret, and communicate basic emotions using pheromones alone, then they can.
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